MATRIXSYNTH: Dave Smith Has Passed Away

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Dave Smith Has Passed Away

I just heard the news.   
I am at a loss for words...

Update: I added some words below. As you likely are, I am in complete shock. Please be kind.

via @SequentialLLC

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died. If you’d like to share your thoughts and memories of Dave, please reach out to us on our website:"

Update: a statement from Sequential:

"American Synthesizer Pioneer and Sequential Founder Dave Smith Passes at 72

San Francisco, CA—June 1, 2022 — It is with great sadness that Sequential today shares the news that its founder, American synthesizer pioneer Dave Smith, has died. The company and his family take solace in the fact that Dave was on the road at the time of his passing, doing what he loved best, and in the company of family, friends, and artists.

Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll commented: “Dave’s passing is a great loss to not only the music community and music technology, but to the world itself. To say that he changed music is no exaggeration. Dave’s legacy is one of creative passion and a deep and lifelong love for music, music technology, and the musicians that continue to enrich our world by using his instruments. At 72 he was still actively designing his next generation of synths. At the same time, he had the foresight to mentor and build Sequential into a team that will continue his work and legacy without pause. Dave will be greatly missed, but his contributions to music will never be forgotten.”

Though Dave Smith and Sequential had been scheduled to appear at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim from June 3 to June 5, Sequential will now decline to participate out of respect for Dave Smith’s memory.

For those wishing to send condolences to the Smith family and share thoughts and memories of Dave and his creations, Sequential invites the public to send comments to

About Sequential
Originally launched in 2002 as Dave Smith Instruments, Sequential was founded by legendary electronic instrument designer Dave Smith and is helmed by respected audio and music industry veteran CEO David Gibbons. Dave Smith’s many accomplishments included the creation of the Prophet-5 — the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer — and his legacy as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)."


Some words: I am in complete shock. I don't know what to say. As you all know Dave was so vibrant and full of life. It's difficult for me to process that he is gone. I met Dave a few times at NAMM and he always had a smile on his face. He was always welcoming, honest, and supportive.

My first Sequential Circuits synth was a Multi-Trak, followed by a Six-Trak, Pro-One, Prophet-5, and finally a Prophet-VS. I picked up an Evolver desktop early on, and I picked up an OB-6 desktop after selling my OB-Xa.

As you know, there are two large Sequential banners on top of the site. Sequential (and previously DSI) has been the site's largest sponsor to date. They have supported the site since October 15, 2015. Knowing I had Dave Smith's support meant the world to me. It's a humbling experience to know one of your heroes believes in your work enough to support it. Running a site like this can be challenging as some people can be quick to judge, and it's impossible to please everyone. Whenever I have doubts I'd remind myself I do have people that appreciate and see value in what I do. Knowing Dave Smith was one of them meant the world to me. I'm just one individual he made an impact on. His genuine love for what he did, and his open, kind, approachable, supportive, and just fun demeanor made our world a better place. His instruments will continue to have a positive impact on others for generations to come.

If you ever want to know what the most difficult aspect of running a site like this is, it's this. It's when we lose our heroes and we have to post something that doesn't even come close to describing how incredible a person was to you. I don't know what to say... Just, the older we get, the more of our heroes pass, and the more we realize how short and precious life is. We are all running out of time. Cherish life and those you love. Make life better for yourself and for others. Appreciate life and appreciate your heroes. Don't dwell on those that refuse to see the best in you. Focus on those who do. Dave Smith was that to me and I will miss him so much.


  1. Thanks for the synths and for MIDI.

    1. Here, here. Man, what a loss although he left us all with so much. MxJones: Thanks for sharing. Alan, thanks for your patches. I’ve paid for a bunch, including for various Prophets. Bless you Dave, and love to everyone at DSI/Sequential. A solid team.

  2. DreamsOfWires6/2/22, 3:23 AM

    So genuinely saddened to hear this, yet so thankful for the beautiful instruments that voiced so much of the music that has enriched my life, and became the reason I was compelled to make electronic music.

  3. Well said matrix


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